Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Happy to Have Been Exposed!

My parents didn't know the meaning of the word "privacy." In our house, a door was merely something on which you hung a robe or a towel. The bathroom door was revolving, regardless of occupation. We slept with doors open until I discovered "the flashlight" and the devilish joy created when paired with the perfect book under crisp cotton sheets; I started asking my mom to shut my door at night.

As I reached my teen years, a door was my only valve -- shutting off issues I didn't wish to address, or bottling up emotions best kept to myself. I couldn't imagine allowing "their world" in mine, and I had no desire to be part of theirs.

When I married, modesty and secrecy were normal and comfortable to me. I would never think of sleeping unhidden, vulnerable, my door open to a lifeless house. My morning and nightly routine took place behind closed doors, as if brushing my teeth was some secret sin. My thoughts, my dreams and my feelings were just as carefully protected.

When my husband and I divorced, everything was laid bare. There it was -- the truth -- unmasked for all the world to see. I had trusted, I had opened my home, I had opened my heart -- I wound up exposed and unprotected.

As I write, Scott is shouting something to me from within the bathroom. When Olivia is tired of chewing her gum, I have been known to chew it myself until I can properly dispose of it. Just last weekend, someone was yelling about the owner of an unfinished water bottle; Joe replied, "Who cares? Just drink it -- we're all family!" Christine and I regularly assist one another in "zit blitz." Both Madison and Olivia are notorious for standing between the shower curtain and the transparent liner, talking to me as I shower.

Scott is my best friend; I love each and every one of my children. We are a family, and for once in my life, I've got nothing to hide.
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